Nov. 9, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys and Air Force Falcons will be playing for the 50th time on the football field when they meet this Saturday. Wyoming is 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West Conference in 2011. Air Force is 5-4 overall and 1-3 in the Mountain West. Saturday's game will kick off at Noon, Mountain Time, from Falcon Stadium on the Air Force Academy grounds.
The Wyoming-Air Force series has been an outstanding one. In a series that began back in 1957, the closeness of the series between the two Front Range rivals is reflected in the many hard-fought games through the years. There have been so many close games between the Cowboys and the Falcons that it is almost inevitable that this week's game will be no different.
Comparing the last 15 games, beginning with the 1996 meeting, nine of the last 15 meetings have been decided by eight points or less. Twelve of the last 15 have been decided by two touchdowns (14 points) or less. Only three of the last 15 meetings have been decided by more than 14 points. The average margin of victory over this span has been 9.00 points per game.
Despite the closeness of the games, Air Force has won the last five meetings in the series.
Both the Cowboys and Falcons need to win seven games this season to earn bowl eligibility. That is due to the fact that both played two NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams this year. Wyoming defeated Weber State and Texas State, while Air Force defeated South Dakota and Tennessee State.
Normally, Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams, like Wyoming and Air Force, only have to achieve a 6-6 record to be bowl eligible. But the NCAA only allows FBS teams to count one victory over an FCS team toward its bowl-eligible victories, therefore the Cowboys and Falcons must post at least a 7-5 record to become eligible for a bowl game.
Wyoming, at 5-3, has to win at least two of its final four games to be eligible for a bowl game. Air Force is 5-4 and must win two of its final three games to go to a bowl. The Cowboys last four games are at Air Force, home versus New Mexico, at Boise State and at Colorado State. Air Force hosts Wyoming and UNLV and ends the season at Colorado State.
The Cowboys have played well on the road in 2011, posting a 2-1 record in road games and a 1-0 record in Mountain West road games. UW defeated Bowling Green (28-27) and San Diego State (30-27) on the road earlier this season. Wyoming's only road loss this year came at Utah State (19-63). Wyoming is 6-9 in road games during the Dave Christensen era.
Both the Wyoming and Air Force offenses have averaged over 400 yards of total offense this season. Wyoming averages 420.4 yards per game to rank 44th in the nation. Air Force averages 456.4 to rank 20th in the NCAA.
The magic number for the Wyoming Cowboys this season has been 28. When Wyoming scores at least 28 points or holds its opponent under 28 opponentsUW has posted a 5-0 record.
In four of Wyoming's five wins this season, the Cowboys have both scored 28 or more points and held its opponent to less than 28 points. The only game Wyoming won where it didn't hold an opponent to 28 points or less was its season-opening win over Weber State. In that game, the Cowboys gave up 32 points to the Wildcats, but still won by a score of 35-32.
Here is a breakdown of the Cowboy victories this season.
- vs. Weber State: W 35-32, Wyoming scored more than 28 points
- vs. Texas State: W 45-10, Wyoming both scored more than 28 points and held opponent to less than 28
- at Bowling Green: W 28-27, Wyoming both scored more than 28 points and held opponent to less than 28
- vs. UNLV: W 41-14, Wyoming both scored more than 28 points and held opponent to less than 28
- at San Diego State: W 30-27, Wyoming both scored over 28 points and held opponent to less than 28
The Cowboys and Falcons have played two common opponents thus far this season -- San Diego State and TCU. Wyoming defeated San Diego State by three points (30-27) in San Diego. Air Force lost at home to the Aztecs by 14 points (27-41). Both the Cowboys and Falcons lost at home to TCU. UW lost by 11 (20-31) to the Horned Frogs. Air Force lost by 16 (19-35).
Saturday's game will be televised live by The Mtn., beginning at noon. The Cowboy Sports Network will broadcast the game live on radio, beginning with the pregame show at 11 a.m.